Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an event caused by a problem with the heart’s “electrical” system. SCA occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. The most common cause of SCA is a problem with the heart’s electrical system (arrhythmia) called ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation is caused by abnormal firing of electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart. In ventricular fibrillation, disorganized electrical impulses in the heart’s lower chambers cause the heart to stop beating (sudden cardiac arrest). The ventricles quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood. Blood and oxygen do not reach vital organs like the brain. The heart needs immediate treatment from an electrical shock (defibrillation) to restart the electrical system. If SCA is not treated within 7-10 minutes, it leads to sudden cardiac death.

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